Curtailing Kimer: Ukraine slams brakes on noted Danish journo

DR’s award-winning foreign correspondent Matilde Kimer furious over accusations that she has conveyed Russian propaganda 

If you’ve ever seen or read any Danish news coming out of Russia and Ukraine in the past decade, there’s a good chance that Matilde Kimer is behind it.

An award-winning journalist who speaks fluent Russian and has lived in Moscow for years, has covered Russian aggression in Ukraine for national broadcaster DR since 2014. 

But reporting on the War in Ukraine has become a challenge for Kimer.

Earlier this year, Kimer was kicked out of Russia when the Kremlin stepped up crackdowns on foreign media. And now, reporting from Ukraine has also become a pontoon bridge too far.

Kimer, considered one of Denmark’s most respected journalists, is fuming that she has her press accreditation revoked by the Ukrainian security services.

She said that she was even accused of propagating Russian propaganda during a meeting with the Ukrainians earlier this month.

“I was angry, hurt and felt powerless following that meeting. I’ve spent so many days of my life in trenches and other places reporting this war, so to hear these accusations – so shortly after being kicked out of Russia even – it’s mind boggling. I have this odd feeling of being betrayed,” she told

Kimer said that the Ukrainians found it suspicious that she had travelled to Donetsk and Crimea while reporting in the past, as well as making phone calls to Russia … where she lived when the war broke out.

READ ALSO: Ukraine tips hat to Denmark’s new government

Outcry in Denmark
The Danish journalism association is aghast that Kimer has been prevented from covering the war in Ukraine. Her employer DR has also strongly criticised Ukraine’s decision. 

Denmark’s new foreign minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, is also on the case. 

In a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, Rasmussen brought up the subject.

“I can say that we had a good discussion on the issue and he listened. We will continue to do what we can to solve this dilemma,” said Rasmussen.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s ambassador to Denmark, Vydoinyk Mykhailo, told Politiken newspaper that Kimer was manipulating the facts.

She had not been banned from reporting in Ukraine. Only her military accreditation had been revoked, so she can’t report from the front line, he contends.

But Kimer contends that due to the military state of emergency existing across Ukraine, her ability to perform her duties as a journalist has been severely curtailed.

“You can’t move around as a foreigner without showing accreditation. You can’t approach an authority. There are also many private citizens who want to see your accreditation and that you are approved to work,” Kimer told DR Nyheder.

READ ALSO: Denmark to fund investigations into war crimes in Ukraine

Up for the Cavling Award
Niels Kvale, DR’s head of its foreign affairs desk, maintains that Kimer’s inability to work in Ukraine will undoubtedly hamper DR’s coverage.

“I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t matter that our best employee, who has the most experience, speaks the language and has covered Ukraine for 12-14 years, isn’t a part of it at the moment,” said Kvale.

“It has an immense impact on our coverage. It’s simply not up to the standard that Matilde, myself and others at DR want it to be.”

Kimer has been nominated to the prestigious Cavling Award this year by Journalistforbundet journalism association for her coverage of the War in Ukraine.

“In 2022 alone, she has reported from Moscow, Kiyv, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Bakhmut, Novoluhanske,
Konstantinovka, Sieverodonetsk, Izyum, Kirovograd, Dnipro, Kursk, Slovyansk, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Lysytyansk, Moldova and Istanbul,” wrote Journalistforbundet.

“Kimer has provided over 150 live transmissions to TV news, Horisont and 21 Søndag. She has delivered 85 unique features to Radioavisen, 70 special features to P1’s Orientering and P1 Morgen.”

(photo: Facebook/Matilde Kimer)